Ouch. Early Wake up call after a long day. We had to meet up at the little red house on Oak Street with the folks from Honey Stinger and Bike Town USA.
Big Agnes, Honey Stinger, and BAP. After some discussion of the Vuelta and Chris Horner's recent miracles that have been pulled out of his aging butt, it was time to ride. We were supposed to head over to Emerald Mountain, a place that I rode back in 2009 but has been greatly expanded upon since. Unfortunately, all the recent rains had taken it off the list off possibilities. It was decided that we should head over to the much better draining Spring Creek Trail instead of tearing up the pride of Steamboat and collecting mud all day.
So Chris and Hannah from Honey Stinger and David from Bike Town USA joined Daniel and I as we headed out of town to the trail head... not so much "out of town" but just at the edge of town. Anyways, a short eleven mile ride with right around 1,400 feet of elevation gain. This trail is pretty popular with dog walkers, but the higher you get, the fewer they are in numbers. On the way back down, the trail is a ripper. A short pause for some photos... which must have been so good that Daniel is saving them for an art show or a Honey Stinger ad campaign, and more ripping all the way back to town.
Quick goodbyes and over to the Steaming Bean to make more plans.
Our hostess with the mostest, Nikki showed up magically on the scene, as if she had a tracking device on us. We decided that our next stop would be the MOOTS Factory and then hopefully the trails would be dry enough up on "the mountain" that we could snag a quick ride up and down without getting caught out in it. So we all hopped on the Yampa River Core Trail and headed headed north (to me) but west (to the rest of the world) to the big gray building I locked myself out of so many years ago.
I'd already had the MOOTS Tour in 2009, but some things were new, so I had to pay attention. I expected Corey to tell me to keep my hands in my pockets, but he allowed me to touch things... as long as I asked first.
Things I saw of interest?
First and foremost, the thing they were taking to Interbike that we weren't allowed to post on the internet, which Daniel almost had on Instagram before we were given the heads up. Doh.
The PF30 operation. I know why manufacturers are going that way with crabon bikes (and it's not all about you either), but I wondered what the advantages were for ti and how were they keeping tolerances tight enough to ensure creak-free performance (ahem... crabon). Corey walked me through the process, and let's just say I'm keeping the option open when I get my next ti frame.
The gigantic, ancient swaging machine.
What exactly was in the giant mystery package they received back in August.
Once we were satiated with information and shiny-bit touching, we had to decide on our next ride. Still kitted up from earlier, we headed towards "the mountain"... with dark clouds on the horizon. A couple turns away from either heading up or heading home, I checked the radar. I blotch of rain was heading right for us. We bailed.
Shortly thereafter, the rain came and "the mountain" was socked in.
Safe and dry, Daniel broke out his Enduro™ iMac to catch up on business.
Steamboat Hot Springs in downtown before heading to dinner at Laundry.
Although Laundry was a pants-optional restaurant, it was still finer dining than I am accustomed to in my normal life. I selected an oddly named mixed drink and had my first ever elk carpaccio to get started.
After dinner, we went back into my comfort zone down the road, Carl's... a bar with drinks and beer and ski town people.
A man dressed in full Boston regalia, complete with Boston tattoos and necklace recognized me as a fellow bike messenger. I guess my ancient PAC bag gave me away. Who else would be wearing one inside a bar... other than a guy that had to transport a cable and a U-lock to ensure that his loaner MOOTS didn't get stolen. From there, another bar... don't remember the name. Supposedly a place where the "pro drinkers" keep themselves hydrated.
The night ended with a wobbly ride back down the Yampa River Core Trail and up to the chalet to try and get some shuteye before a morning of doing nothing but bike park.